The Shadow Circle
A young impetuous elf, full of life, vigor and with a fresh and easygoing nature.
Physical: Sera is a lithe and rather tall youth, equalling most humans females in height. She was always the tallest female in the warrior academy, a fact that earned her the nickname “legs” amongst the other females. Her body shows the signs of hard training from early childhood and the acts of dexterity she can perform are quite mesmerizing. Training with blades has hardened her muscles so they are taught and flexible. That however, is not what catches a passerby’s eye. Her elegant and shapely face is perfected by a set of gleaming blue eye orbs, almond shaped and finished with long white eyelashes. Those eyes gleam of pleasantness and a fair bit of mischievousness. What goes on behind the eyes, we can only guess, but the way she trots around, an easygoing catch to her step, makes a viewer sure that she means no harm. She wears hear white hair in a pony tail, with only her bangs on each side of her head loose, framing her shapely face.
She wears her black and grey clothing close to her skin and moves with the steps of a dancer, silent as a cat.
Personality: Being a very yong drow, barely out of the fifties, she has a lot to learn. The upbringing of Drow teaches them that the world outside is evil and only worthy of dominion or death. She always felt that this couldn’t be right, but the mindbending teachings slowly got to her, warping her own mind and ideas so they started to resemble the common Drows. Fortunately for her, she escaped the Drow society shortly after.
She has begun a trek that will change her worldly view, but at the moment she is spurred on by her impulses and she has difficulty seeing what is right and wrong. Her motives are driven by a dream of doing good and change what and how the world think of her as a drow. She is playful and energetic, always willing to help those she calls a friend, and often willing to aid others who are in need. It does however, take a good time to gain her trust and though she tries to be open, she is guarded by suspicion of other people motives, a legacy from growing up amongst other Drow.
Sera hails from a lower ranking house in a middle sized drow city far beneath the High Forest. From an early age, she was sent to the Warrior academy with the hopes of her taking over command of the household guard when she was finished.
But she felt detached from her race, and especially her mother and siblings, wanting nothing more than to spar with the other youngsters and enjoying life. Her numerous times beneath her sibling’s vicious whips did nothing else but bolstering her wishes for a quick escape.
An opening came, during a raid upon a Moon elf community on the surface. Before the ambush on her fair skinned cousins, she managed to sneak away from her raid leader, alongside Elathor, a long time friend of hers. A few hours after they had managed to get away, their carefree nature came to the fore and they started enjoying themselves in experiencing the world above their homeworld. It was not to last. The raid went horribly wrong, and all of the Drow except a pitiful few died at the hands of the Moon Elves. Agitated and mad at the ambush, the Moon Elves took up the chase and happened upon the two playfull drows. Without wanting to listen to reason or their cries of innocence, the Moon Elves attacked them.
Drow are hardy fighters. Wield either magic or steel is in their blood and they are drilled mercilessly in their arts from very early childhood. Elathor and Sera worked well together, forming a defence that the Moon Elves war party had trouble penetrating. Lastly however, Sera slipped on a moist stone and her defences cracked for the barest of a moment. The Moon elves exploited this by driving home a vicious assault. Sera would had died at the end of a sword point, had it not been for a show of unusual Drow compassion as Elathor stepped in and took the sword tip in his gut.
With his dying breath he yelled for her too flee as he charged the Moon Elves, in an attempt to mislead their attention. It worked. Sera managed to flee and evade the rest of the Moon Elves. To this day she is unsure of Elathor’s fate, but believing him dead.
Sera spent many months roaming the northern part of Faerún, in search of finding a place where she could belong, or at the very least be accepted. The days have been hard, but her unflinching happiness and easy going nature has eased the worst of the world upsides view on Drows. Lastly, she has found herself nearing a destiny within a Shadow Circle.
The World Above! Chronicles of an outsider.
The Early Months
Winter had the land in its snowy grab. The hillside just outside the High Forest was blanketed by snow. Nightal was due and it was the last month of this year. The night sky was clear, not a single cloud cluttered the darkness lit by a multitude of stars gleaming and blinking to the inhabitants of Faerún. A lone figure sat just outside the tree lines, on a single tree seemingly left by its cousins atop a small hill. The branches of the looked likes hands clawing towards the sky and it was on one of these forlorn fingers she sat, her blue eyes looking at the stars above. Her mind was full of the last months events, a time that had flown by with such a pace that she felt dislocated and numb.
They had changed her life in so vast a sense and it had parted her from her only friend, but it had also opened doors that had previously been barred to one such as her. But was it worth it? Could she make it and lastly, how did she go about doing it?
She tried to remember what had happened, but the escape the last few months only came back as fleeting images of frantic running, followed by stealthily sneaking away from the fair skinned elves that had taken Elathor from her, and had thrown her out on this her most trying endeavour. Several times they had passed by her mere inches and there were moments where she could have sworn that she had been discovered. But her hideouts had held, and her silent feet had carried her away from trouble. Had she been spotted, there was little doubt that she would have perished then and there. But she had prevailed and the hunt had stopped now, the elves had apparently been content to let her leave their forest and flee into the, to her, unknown reaches of Aber-Toril.
A strange meeting
Shortly after leaving the High Forest behind and heading out into the hill lands to the north, the lone dark skinned elf came across a large fire, burning brightly in the night. A chorus of voices, mostly gruff and in tones that suggested anger with the occasional cry of pain cut the air. She decided to take a close look. Slowly and without a sound, she crept closer on all fours, the frosty snow holding beneath her sleight frame. It was a campsite with a few linen tents placed around a roaring fireplace, large enough to keep the camp occupants warm and cook the sweet smelling meat that was roasting above the fire. A handful of people, whom she recognised as humans from the hours of studying in her home city, all stood around the fireplace, warming their hands. Each wore heavy plated armour, complete with mail and leather to protect the soft places of the plate. Each too was armed to the teeth, boasting large rugged swords, spears and shields. The leader, it must have been, for he was the one talking, stood across a prone figure, holding a two-handed sword at in his hands and hovering it just above the prone person’s throat. Sera crawled closer, an easy feat thanks to the laughing warriors around the fireplace, until she could see who the prone person was. The figure was short but with a heavy build. His shoulder and torso was like made from stone and his short but powerful legs were bound in a heavy rope to keep him still. His arms too, naked and well muscled was like slaps of bedrock prickled with hair. A huge grey beard wet from melted snow clung to his belly, torso and even from where she was, Sera noticed that the beard was well trimmed and cared for. She had never seen one such as he, but the thing must be a dwarf, and from the looks of it, the dwarf was being cruelly toyed with by the humans. She couldn’t understand what was said, but it seemed like the humans wanted something from the dwarf, a secret he did not wish to share with him. A part of her wanted to look on and take delight in what happened, while a much larger part begged of her to intervene. She looked around, noticing a old but devilishly sharp looking battle axe rest on the ground just a few feet from the dwarf. She drew a throwing dagger while she calmly crept into position to pounce on the unsuspecting humans around the fire. As they began roaring in laughter, she jumped from the shadows, her short sword darting out and taking a warrior right beneath his back plate and rupturing his kidney. He went down, gurgling and mewling. With a flick of her wrist, she threw the drawn dagger at the dwarf. It stuck into the ground after cutting through the rope that held him. But by then the surprise had worn out. The three remaining warriors turned on her, drawing their crude long swords while their leader began barking out commands, his attention turned away from the dwarf. She fell back on her heels, knees bend slightly and swaying the shortsword in front of her, while she drew another dagger. Her stance shifted to a purely defensive one to a ready pose. The warriors before her, was clearly not in their best spirits, chocked that they had been attacked by a dark elf, and one of their number was already down and dead. The leaders commands finally sparked them into action and as soon as she saw the intent in their eyes, she too pirouetted into a action, her body arced to nimbly avoid the lead warrior’s thrust while she spun her right foot out, knocking aside another thrust from the second warrior. The third warrior’s only act was to let go of his blade and clutch the gaping wound in his throat that hadn’t been there a second before. She spun around, throwing her second dagger embedding it deeply in the calf of the second warrior, forcing him to stumble. Her blade deftly struck out at the remaining warrior. She worked it in a maddening pace, weaving a mesmerizing pattern in the air in front of the warrior and leaving many a gauge in his plate armour.
He was a seasoned warrior, with many a campaign to his belt, but against this assault he knew his chances were forfeit. He panicked and turned to flee but his feet did not take him many steps before felt nothing more.
Sera turned just as a roar like a mad bear erupted from behind her. She saw the human leader catching the notched battle axe squarely in the face with a blow that smashed it asunder. The dead human flopped to the ground, leaving the dwarf eyeing her warily.
Thus it was that Sera met the first creature on the surface that wasn’t an enemy from the start. The dwarf was a stout follower of the dwarves of Citadel Adbar, close to the village of Sundabar. Lokhar Stonebrow was a travelling diplomat on his way to Northkeep from Citadel Adbar when his peaceful group had been ambushed by the sellswords. He was the only one to survive. Though distrustful of the drow girl, he warmed to her over their travels together on their way to Northkeep. He eventually taught her the common and dwarf language, a skill that he knew would be vital to her, if she was to have a future on the surface. In gratitude of her timely rescue of him, he offered her some of the gifts he had to his disposal. A rare rapier crafted from the ore mined deep beneath Citadel Adbar, alongside a riposte dagger. Both items were bejewelled and had magical properties, but he felt good giving them to Sera. Though her skin was dark and the tales of her dark kin was horrid indeed, he had gained a vision of her future and knew that she was worthy. He thanked Moradin the Great, for giving him the chance to meet her.
Journey to the North
The two unusual companions headed north, following a trail that would ultimately bring them to Lokhar’s destination, the fair city of Northkeep, Capital of the Silver Marches. Along the way, Lokhar did his best to teach the impassionate and impatient Drow about the world on the surface, but quickly learned that the smart girl was lacking in the knowledge of the world. She was in for a lot of bruises along her way, but her spirit was high and he was sure she would come through the ordeals ahead of her.
The road north took them past many small adventures and they found that they worked well together. Lokhar would do the talking, whenever they met anyone, and she would disappear into the shadows beforehand, so as to not scare the people and villages folk the met.
At an road Inn they stumbled across the rumours of a graveyard nearby that was haunted, and though it has been so for ages, the restless dead were not starting to snatch away people form the nearby village, Mortenshome. Lokhar showed an unusual interest in seeking the place out and lay the dead to rest, and Sera happily agreed.
It turned out that a Priest of Bane had made his lair in a mausoleum of a once renowned noble family and started to raise the dead, in an attempt to tyrannize the population of Mortenshome. The undead minions were easily laid to rest again, but the priest and his bodyguard, a fearsome half orc warrior named Roargh were an entirely different matter. Lokhar took the battle to the Priest and a battle of holy magic ensued, while Sera desperately tried to hold of the frenzied attacks of Roargh. His twinbladed axe chopped and slashed at her, many times narrowing missing her as she dodged, spun and parried his attacks. Her ripostes left small wounds on the torso of the enraged half orc and though deep, they did little else but enrage him further. At long last an opening showed and she stepped in, brilliant rapier at the lead and took the half Orc through his heart, magical lightning danced down the blade and made the half orc’s muscled twitch, but with his dying breath he slashed his axe at her and with nowhere to go, she was hit. The blade cleaved deeply into her side, spilling her precious lifeblood and flinging her into the wall from where she slid down in a pool of blood.
She would have died there, were it not for the faith of Lokhar, who turned out to be more than a diplomat of the Adbar dwarves. He was a highpriest within the ranks of the Chosen of Moradin, the church in Citadel Adbar. His magical powers mended her wound and nothing now remains but a small scar left from the vicious blow she took. The bane follower had been vanquished and the threat to Mortenshome was gone. They divided the treasure from the Priest and Roargh, and amongst the loot, a set of magical bracers and a wand of healing properties were found. Lokhar gave them both to Sera, knowing that she would need them the most.
While Lokhar divided the loot, Sera looked at half orc items and spotted two things of interest, a medallion of a clenched fist, but seemingly broken in half, with one half missing. In the one that was here, the name Raargh was written. The other item was a dark purple gemstone. Somehow it seemed like it was calling out to her, beckoning her to take it. She palmed both items.
Once back on the road again, she mentioned her curiosity about Lokhar’s powers. She had of course seen divine powers be used before. All of her siblings as well as her mother were all priestesses of Lolth, the Spiderqueen. But it had been far between that she had seen them heal people that were close to death. The powers that Lokhar commanded inspired her somehow and tugged at both her spirit and her interest. Lokhar recognised a kindred spirit in her and he decided to teach her about the use of divine powers. How to reach out with prayers and feelings to the powers that be. Should those prayers be true, then they would be answered. Seranylla took the training with an unusual seriousness and not soon after, powers unfelt before, did come to her. Often her dreams would bring a voice without a body to her, softly beckoning her to look to the moon. Lokhar would wake many times in the middle of the night to find Sera dancing around beneath the soft moonshine. Moradin whispered a name to Lohkar; “Elieestraae”.
The affection Lokhar had shown her, deeply affected Sera and she understood that she really didn’t have a clue about what drives people. She began to suspect that other things beside curiosity and impulses lead people’s behaviour and, perhaps also herself. Ethics and morale thus began to creep into her mind and heart.
After a few months of travelling together, the two neared the city of Everlund. Lokhar knew that this was where their paths split and with a heavy heart he told Sera. He knew that her path, at this moment, was to stride towards the busy city and seek out the silver in the dung, an odd phrase if ever there was one. With a teary goodbye, the two companions parted, one leaving for Northkeep and the other set out to find her new footing inside the world of humans.
Lokhar watched her skip off down the dusty road with a heartaching sigh. The short time together with Sera had impacted heavily on him and though it was odd, he felt like she was the child he never had.
The gates of Everlund awaits the young Drow……